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Merchant Solutions Q & A

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the new Merchant Solutions. Below are some of the most important issues, questions, and answers.

Q: Should I upgrade?
A: Probably the number one question. To answer this question you need to consider a number of points. Before we go any further, you should know that you are not required to upgrade. Ever. For most store owners the bottom line is cost. To figure out whether you'd be better off with one of the new pricing packages, refer to this page.

Q: What happens if I don't upgrade?
A: Nothing. If you don't upgrade, nothing will change in the way you currently use your store. However, new features may not be available to "legacy stores", only Merchant Solutions stores (the new Shipping Manager and UPS Integration Tools is one such recently introduced feature.)

Q: Is RTML dead?
A: No. The store part can still only be fully customized through RTML. However, you now have the option of building your store completely on the web hosting platform using conventional Web design tools such as FrontPage or DreamWeaver and the specialized store tags. This route is great if 1) you have a smaller store and 2) you are comfortable with designing web pages on your own. For larger stores (with hundreds or thousands of items), creating each item and section page can be prohibitive. If you don't normally design your own pages, on the long run it pays having a professionally built, template-based store. That way you can concentrate on adding your products and copy rather than having to fiddle with HTML.
Here is another consideration when you use store tags to build your store: you need to edit your "default" table in the Catalog Manager, enable the "product-url" field under "Shopping Fields", and then manually add the entire URL of your product pages for each product. Without that, the hyperlinks in your shopping cart will take your customers to the default store pages. Which brings us to another point: the shopping cart page can only be customized through RTML.

Q: When I upgrade to Merchant Solutions, should I transfer my current domain name?
A: Previously the answer was a resounding "No". Today you can use your existing domain name, however. During the upgrade to Merchant Solutions (or afterwards) you will need to log into the Domain Control panel and make sure your domain is set to point to the Editor Home Page rather to the web hosting home page.

Q: If I don't upgrade to Merchant Solutions, can I still get the 20% off the published pay per click fees in Yahoo! Shopping?
A: Yes. Originally, Yahoo! advertised the 20% discount only for Merchant Solutions users. Now they extended it to both Merchant Solutions users and legacy stores. To sign up, click the "Yahoo Shopping" link in your store manager.

For a more in-depth discussion of the issues surrounding the upgrade, the handout of our "Upgrading to Yahoo! Merchant Solutions" seminar is available here.


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